Sunday, August 30, 2009

My mother probably shouldn't read this post

OK, let's talk about the fire.

That would be the Station Fire, burning cheerfully out of control in a vaguely Northwesterly location from me.

I've been paying only a vague sort of attention to it, seeing as it was more than a city away, but this is, actually, one big, massive MoFo of a fire. The scope of it wasn't entirely clear to me until I was driving home from the theatre last night and actually saw it -- a big red ribbon all the way around the dark mountain. It looked kinda like Mordor, actually -- an image which was not at all ameliorated by other areas where there's tons of smoke billowing upward, lit a foreboding red light from below.

So, here's the bottom line -- the damn thing is burning something less than five miles away from me (as the crow flies -- there's a lot of terrain in between) which is enough to make me a bit concerned about possible evacuation. They've been trying to keep it away from Mount Wilson, which houses an observatory and a ton of communications towers and (more importantly, from a "how does this affect me?" perspective) is about directly North of me (ballparking that on a map, I'd say about 3 miles). I've been pretty happy with the whole Keep It Away From Mount Wilson thing, but the latest reports say it will get there sometime overnight. Now, that's still in the mountains, but they've been fighting this bastard in foothill communities all along the southern edge of the mountains, so if it gets to Mount Wilson, there's a reasonable chance it will end up within about a mile of my house, a fact which kinda freaks me out.

I'm not yet evacuating. I'm not yet packing to evacuate. But I did spend today preparing to pack to evacuate.

First problem: The cat. I don't want to show up on a friend's doorstep with a cat but no litter box. So, I went to the pet store and ended up filling my car with about $50 worth of spare cat supplies: litter box, litter, scoop, food/water dish, cat food, and (in the interest of protecting the furniture of wherever I may go) a small scratching post. Also, this seemed the right time to acquire a cat collar and nametag. On the theory that my place might get evacuated while I'm at work, I wanted to make sure the cat was safely labelled. To my great surprise, the cat took to the collar pretty well. Sure, there was about a minute of (somewhat amusing, really) cat trying to figure out why that little bell sound was coming from her, but, after that, she's been really cool with it. (Now I have to get used to the damn bell.)

After that: putting together a small bag of Crap I'll Want To Save. (To be clear, this is different from packing clothes, toiletries and meds to take with me upon any evacuation -- that can be done in under ten minutes with a duffel bag and very little choosiness.) So, I've got: my Baby Book, my passport, title to the car, deed to the house, various other financial documents, insurance policies, jewelry, my camera (currently loaded with pictures of everything in my house, for insurance purposes), and my netbook (after transferring the entire "My Documents" file from my desktop). There are a few more documents I need to throw in (and perhaps some collectibles I'd be really pissed to lose) -- but, honestly, pretty much everything else is just STUFF (a fact with which I am intimately aware, as I've recently unpacked all of it).

Don't get me wrong, here. I don't want to evacuate and I sure as hell don't want to lose the house -- especially after how long it took me to find it and all the work I've had done on it -- but I'm also oddly detached from the whole thing and OK with the thought that it could all go up in smoke. As long as I'm OK and the cat's OK, the rest is all replaceable (and insured, with full replacement coverage).

1 comment:

Wil said...

"title to the car, deed to the house, various other financial documents, insurance policies, jewelry, my camera (currently loaded with pictures of everything in my house, for insurance purposes)"

So I ask myself why does an intelligent, savvy, world-wise lawyer has all of these documents at home, instead of a safe-deposit box at the bank of her choice? I can see keeping a passport close to hand as you tend to take off at the drop of a sombrero, but car title? Deed? Insurance documents!!! (Oh my ... that's a REAL NO-NO).

Surely you can find a vault with weekend access if not full 24/7 that meets your needs. Keeping anything at home in the creosote-ridden hills of SoCal is asking for it.

Wishing the best of preparedness and no need to deploy. My lung aches at the mere thought of the air quality you guys must be experiencing. Best of luck coming your way...